Ahwatukee Foothills Pony Baseball Association

Ahwatukee Foothills Baseball Association

Content

Fall 2019 Information!

Ahwatukee Foothills PONY Baseball is a volunteer led, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is proud to be entering our 34th year of providing players of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to play Spring and Fall baseball in the Phoenix area.   Our league focuses on developing players into successful athletes and people while fostering lifelong friendships between the players and their families.

Registration:

Recreational level of play is open to players of all ages and skill levels who want to play baseball.  Players do not need to have a team or be affiliated with a team.  All that is required is that they have an interest in learning/playing the game. In fact, most recreational players register individually and are assigned to a team!

Registration slots are limited in each division to only the number of slots that we have confirmed coaches for.   If there are more players that we have coaches to coach them, players will be placed on a wait list until a coach volunteers.  Wait list player will then be notified in the order they signed up that an opening is available for them.  We urge people who are planning to coach or  are considering coaching to sign up early.

2019 Baseball League Age Key

Key Dates:

May 1st, 2019 – Recreational Baseball Registration Opens

May 1st, 2019 – Champions Baseball Registration Opens

May 19th, 2019 – Competitive Baseball Registration Opens

August 17th, 2019 – Close of Recreational Baseball Registration. (Absolutely no late registrations will be accepted in Fall 2019.)

August 24th, 2019 – Competitive Baseball Registration Closes

August 24th, 2019 – Recreational player Skills Evaluation Fall 2019 Draft

August 24th, 2019 – Fall Mandatory Coaches Meeting and Recreational  Division Drafts

September 1st, 2019 – Practice schedules released to coaches

September 21st,  2019 – Opening Day Ceremonies

October 5th, 2019 – Champions Registration Closes

Team Changes:

Based on feedback from prior seasons, in Fall 2019, we will be modifying the way players are assigned to Recreational Teams in all upper level divisions:

Champions players will be assigned to teams based on age category by the Division Director

Shetland 6U players will be assigned to teams/coaches by the Shetland Director.  If a player has a friend in the league, they have the option to request to be on the same team as their friend and we will work to accommodate those requests

Players at Pinto and above who played PONY baseball in Spring 2019, will have the ability to request to play on teams with their friends or request a coach. Going forward, the only players eligible for Friend/Coach request at Pinto or older will be those players and coaches who played PONY baseball the previous season.

All other players will be asked to participate in a low-stress, fun, skills evaluation clinic on August 24th. The purpose of this evaluation is not to limit any players from playing, but rather to rank players’ skill sets so that each team has an equal distribution of talent.  Players will be drafted by coaches immediately following the skills evaluation on the 24th. Details of the draft will be provided to coaches prior to the draft.

Inter-league play:

This past Spring, PONY leagues in Ahwatukee, Chandler, and Scottsdale participated in inter-league play between the three leagues at both the recreational and competitive levels.  The response from players and families was largely very positive.  Players felt like they were playing travel baseball with real home and away games at different parks (all without the associated expense of travel baseball).

We are looking at continuing this in Fall 2019.  AFPBA is in discussions with Chandler and Scottsdale to work out the details.

Commitment to Coaches:

We recognize finding and keeping high quality coaches is critical to baseball at every level of play.  Because of that, we have spent time looking at ways to reward excellent coaches for their efforts with PONY baseball and at the same time encourage them to become even better.

  • We are making a commitment to get coaches the information they need related to schedules for games and practices as early as possible so that you and your families can plan their season.
  • Our goal is to have practice schedules complete and to all coaches by September 1st.
  • Game Schedules to be completed and distributed by mid-September.
  • We have implemented a new website that allows you to communicate directly with your parents and provides information related to schedules, field closures or cancellations via email and text.
  • Coaches who coach year round with PONY can build and keep a team of players and assistant coaches by allowing player/coach request at upper levels play.  We want to provide coaches who want to take their team from Recreational to Competitive levels of play an easy way to do that!
  • Providing Registration discounts for coaches who coached the previous season with PONY Baseball
  • Additionally, we have partnered with Dugout Captain to provide free drills and instructional videos for coaches.  This program allows coaches to enter their team age level, the length of practice, and the number of practice sessions/weeks and it will lay out a multi-week practice program that comes complete with drills and video instructions that you can use to learn the drills and share with parents. It is a great resource for those just getting in to coaching at the Shetland level and who may not feel like they know how to run a practice – it really makes it simple, but it also has drills and tips for the most seasoned youth baseball coaches as well!
  • We are also encouraging coaches to consider getting their PONY coaching certification and are providing incentives to coaches who pursue this.

Other Surprises:

The Board has been working hard to come up with ideas to make Opening Day and games throughout the season fun for players and their families.  In fact, we have reached the point where our fun ideas outnumber the people and resources we need to implement them!

We realize almost no one has time in their busy lives to commit to an organization! So what we are asking is that you not commit to our organization, but rather:

  • Commit in some small way during the season to make your player’s experience one that they will always remember!
  • Maybe agree to answer one email a week to confirm teams’ attendance to away games that week; or, send two emails to help a team reschedule a game due to a player injury.  If you do that, you are basically a Division Director!
  • Maybe show up a few minutes early and use the really cool chalk machine to draw on- deck circles outside the dugouts. Heck, if you have an extra couple minutes after that, maybe chalk up some coaches boxes on the third and first base sides!  The coaches probably won’t use them, but your player will notice that their field looks a lot like a big league field and our field maintenance director would appreciate the help!
  • Agree to play a player’s walk up song and announce their name on the loudspeaker while they are coming up to bat during a Saturday night game under the lights.
  • Offer your connections in the Community to the league. 
  • Maybe you know someone who loves baseball and would be willing to be a sponsor. (that chalk for those cool on-deck circles and coaches boxes do cost something)
  • Maybe you live next door to an ex-big league player who would come and talk to the players or run a clinic for players or coaches.
  • Donate a pair of those season tickets you aren’t going to be able to use for a league fundraiser.
  • Take a picture during the game and email it to us so we can put it up on our site or social media site.
  • Make a tax deductible donation to the league

Ultimately, our goal is to give your player a baseball experience they won’t forget.  We can do some of it alone, but we can’t do all of it alone. 

Please considering registering to volunteer or simply tell your coach you would like to help.


Local Sponsors

Contact Us

Ahwatukee Foothills PONY Baseball Association

PO Box 93565 
Phoenix, Arizona 85070

Email Us: [email protected]
Copyright © 2019 Ahwatukee Foothills PONY Baseball Association (AFPBA)  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Login